tv Lessons Learned at Guadalcanal CSPAN May 11, 2019 9:12pm-10:01pm EDT
the author of "learning war: the evolution of fighting doctrine in the u.s. navy 1898-1945." he analyzes how u.s. naval strategies and battle tactics developed during the battle of guadalcanal. he argues that these developments helped the united states eventually win the pacific war. his 45-minute talk is part of a daylong symposium on the battle of guadalcanal hosted by the national world war ii museum in new orleans. >> let me call back into session symposium on guadalcanal. i have brought you under the auspices of the museum's institute of the study of war and democracy. our next speaker i am pleased to introduce to you, trent hone is one of the leading authorities in the country on u.s. navy tactics and doctrine. he is the winner of awards from the u.s. naval war college and the naval history at heritage command. his latest book which i have
read quite recently and was extremely impressed by, learning war, the evolution of fighting doctrine in the u.s. navy. it reminds us of something important. that what happens today is often completely dependent on things that happened yesterday and, in fact, that happened over the course of many yesterdays. that they are used to formulate doctrine and ideas for generations to come. "learning war" was reviewed in "the new york times" review of books by tom ricks. the real hero of hone's book is not an individual but a large complex organization, the american navy, that grew from second-rate status to become the world's premier maritime force. here to tell us that story and parse the lessons learned, trent hone.
[applause] trent: thank you for that excellent introduction and thank you, jeremy, and all of our host and all of you for being here today. i am pleased to give you some of the insights from the book, placeing war," and help guadalcanal in context. i want to place it in context in terms of what happens next, where does the navy go based on lessons it gathers from the fighting? how does that relate to the rest of the pacific war as the fighting continues through 1943 and up through august 1945? that is what i will be trying to do here. i have titled this adaptation
and evolution. one of the things i think is important is to recognize the fact that the navy does a good job at gathering lessons. there are a number of challenges that are faced at guadalcanal, and i'm going to help you understand how those lead to better outcomes in the future. one of the most important things that i want you to take away is the idea guadalcanal is a crucial opportunity. which frank told us how it is in terms of the world stage in august 1942. the axis powers have had a series of victories, and it is important admiral king recognizes the importance of trying to figure out how to put the japanese on their heels. the victory at midway created opportunity. the initiative in the pacific hangs in the balance. the force which acts decisively will seize that and the pace of the fighting goingforward.
-- going forward. king also recognizes something else. he has been immersed in the navy's approach to fighting for decades. he started off as a service officer, worked under william sims in the atlantic fleet world -- to peter flotilla -- torpedo flotilla before world war i, moved on to command submarines and eventually became an aviator. he had experience in all the ways in which the navy can fight. he knows the navy can learn and adapt lessons and has confidence it can do it faster than the japanese. the second opportunity is not just to seize the initiative but also come to grips with the enemy, learn how they fight and put into practice the ability of american naval officers to learn more rapidly. king has confidence that they
can do this because of a deliberate learning system created in decades prior, the decades between world wars, 1919 to 1939. the united states navy created a learning mechanism. this was deliberately constructed and comes from the mind of the second chief of naval operations, admiral robert ernst. he put into place what he called a planning cycle. this was an annual regimen, a war planning with the chief of operations, analysis at the naval war college and exercises in the fleet. you have heard about the largest and most famous ofthese. -- of these. the fleet problems. what is generally done when we think about fleet problems is we think of exercises and how they went on. what i want you to understand is this is part of a network, a system of learning. the navy was going through these exercises not just for practice
or to develop routines but to better understand how a naval war in the pacific might be fought and to explore some of the challenges they faced. frank highlighted the fact that through ticket idea, the idea of steaming directly across the pacific and confronting the japanese early in the pacific war was discarded by 1933. that's true. it is one of the things that comes out of these exercises and the learning system. many other things come out as well. if you have studied the fleet problems or if you have read the analysis of them you understand , they foment and become a hotbed for learning how to operate carriers. naval aviation is born in the fleet problems and develops a high level of expertise over that time, not matching what the japanese achieved by the dawn of the pacific war, but not far behind. what often is ignored or not
paid as much attention to is the fact that the u.s. navy's surface tactics and doctrine were also evolving and getting better through this time. one of the things that is core to it is the fact subordinate commanders are asked to devise new approaches and new mechanisms. there is a lack of a standardized, universal approach. we heard earlier about joseph reeves who helped it become much moreeffective, turned it from an -- more effective turned it from , an experiment to an actual operational weapon. those lessons were factored in to the operations of lexington and saratoga and later on the carriers yorktown and enterprise which spent so much time fighting in early 1942.
three specific heuristics emerged over this course of this time. heuristics is a bit of a complicated word. it means a pattern of decision-making. it is an approach you have taken before, you are practiced in and do it without really thinking about it. subconsciously. this is how you go about these routines. three formed the core of the navy's approach to fighting in the run-up to world war ii. the first is to act aggressively. united states navy officers well understood that in combat, if you could get inside an enemy's decision cycle, you can keep them off balance, control the pace of battle and create new opportunities, and this is .omething they tried to do
the navy of the time did not use this term, but they would have understood it quite well. there was a question after the last presentation -- why did the navy scout with this relatively slow plane? it is because it can carry a bomb load. it was the idea of having a scout bomber. you could attack immediately because at that time in carrier warfare if you get in the first hit, you were going to win. this this manifested in a series of other ways when it came to surface combats. in daylight, the united states emphasized developing a fire
control solution with a very sophisticated fire control computer called a ford range that would track the motions of the target and predict where the shell woodland. would land. shell night, as soon as you could see something it was within range. you were at the threat of being knocked out very quickly. so the pattern for night battle practice was to open fire immediately at an estimated range based on how far your eyes could see that night. and then allow fire control solution to be determined -- developed afterwards once you noted the fall of shock and spotted it on the target. the united states navy became very experienced with this. we have had questions about radar. radar brings in a new dimension because the assumption was at night you would have to spot. you would have to keep your eye on the target.
you would have to move theshells -- the shells onto it. radar gives you a range. those officers who were familiar with fire control radar, those used off guadalcanal, thought we don't need to spot anymore. we will get the radar range and shoot. we don't have to shoot salvos anymore. guadalcanaled off was even more extreme -- continuous fire. put as many shells in the air as you can. hit the target as rapidly as you can. you have aeans, when ship that has 15 at six-in guns, each of which has a firing cycle of between six and 10 seconds, you really are firing continuously. flashes from those
shells appear on the radar scope and obscure the target. this is why in later battles, further up the solomons chain, what typically happens is the first japanese ship that presents a large radar target gets overwhelmed, and then the united states navy misses everything else. the third aspect that is most important is the idea of centralized decision-making. there is recognition that there will be fleeting opportunities. bailey --champ momentary chances to try to put the enemy off balance or act aggressively and attack. to take advantage of those opportunities, we have to decentralize control. we have to empower subordinate commanders to act on their own initiative and seize opportunities. it is not just about how officers behave in battle but ways ofevelop our
fighting, how we develop doctrine. if you go through and look at the published trial manuals that exist before world war ii, you will see a lot of information. if you are looking for specifics about how we will fight and approach night action with cruisers and destroyers, you will be relatively disappointed. a lot of the detail in those manuals is generic. it provides general guidance. individual squadron and division commanders were expected to come up with their own detailed plans based on circumstances at the moment and unique capabilities of their command. before the war they did this. it worked pretty well. they developed new approaches , but it meant there was a lot of variability. different divisions and squadrons came up with different ways of using ships together, different ways of approaching battle, different plans,
different doctrines, different tactics. in some circumstances this can work well but when your forces are no longer cohesive, when you're squadrons and divisions get broken up, it can become very problematic. there was a lot of variability in terms of how navy ships, particularly for small actions, were going to approach the fighting. it created the impression the united states navy didn't have a battle doctrine particularly for small detached actions with cruisers and destroyers. if you look at it from a high level, was there a printed manual that instructed everybody how to go about this, you are right, there wasn't. there was an assumption they would work it out and provide it -- they would work it out and have a plan and provide it to their subordinates. that difference created misunderstanding which i have tried to correct. against this a backdrop of which
all this doctrine develops, the war will culminate in a decisive fleet action. we need to prepare for that. a great deal of tactical exercises are oriented in that way. you will notice i talked about aggressive action and attacking effectively first, i didn't talk about torpedoes. there is a reason. most of the destroyer torpedo practices assumed destroyers are going to be making an attack if they are attacking at night on screened enemy disposition. that is a disposition that is protected by enemy cruisers and destroyers. the destroyers are instructed to get to the enemy formation and to use their torpedoes on what carriers,their --
battleships, whatever they may be. to get there, you have to fight your way through. torpedoes are too valuable to waste on enemy cruisers or destroyers, so you use guns. this creates certain assumptions in the minds of destroyer and cruiser captains and also leads to the fact that on american destroyers of this time, when you fire the torpedoes, the impulse that launches them creates a spark. it illuminates. so these destroyer torpedoes thought to be a weapon of stealth art -- are not. they decide to use guns. this is the situation. admiral king decides the heuristic of acting aggressively needs to be employed at the operational level. we need to seize the initiative, take the offensive and sees the -- seize the anchorage in the airfield and island of
guadalcanal. the japanese as expected come back very quickly. the battle of savo island. there is a couple key lessons that are learned in the moment in the battle of savo island, two things reinforced by prewar experience and also observations. the primary challenge is surprise. the japanese did so well because they surprised us. the other problem is we were afraid of opening fire for fear of hitting our own ships. friendly fire was real danger. it had been a danger not just at savo island but every nocturnal exercise the navy employed and that i have come across. there was a risk of ships shooting at each other when they tried to rejoin formations or coordinate operations at night. scott tried to address these
issues. he creates a very compact linear formation. a number of researchers said it is logically derivative from the work the united states navy did prewar. it is a linear battle formation in microcosm. what he is trying to do is address these challenges, surprise and friendly fire, concentrate the force. that will prevent friendly fire. he makes it a linear formation because he wants to prevent surprise. he wants to attack in either direction right away, immediately. he calls it a doubleheader formation to reflect that. he wins that victory. unfortunately, it doesn't prevent friendly fire. the destroyers farenthold and duncan were hit by u.s. cruisers. but it works well enough.
a month later, in november, we have been given a powerful description of the challenges the rear admiral faced. he noted it was difficult for callahan to keep track of what was going on. this is true but if you go through and reconstruct information callahan has and look at the various orders the -- that he issues, it is clear that is one thing overarching in his mind. that is that he has to act aggressively. he has to get close. as soon as he gets information from helena about the bearing of the japanese formation, he goes towards it. he does this a couple of times. and then, before the shooting starts, he orders the van destroyers and rear destroyers to course through the japanese formation, and after the shooting starts, he maneuvers the san francisco to bring her as close as possible to the japanese flagship in order to
disrupt the cohesion of the japanese formation and prevent the bombardment. in these actions you can see a clear demonstration of the heuristics the japanese navy developed before the war. rear admiral lee puts all of them together. he experiments with the new formation. it is an ad hoc formation. the destroyers he has are the ones that happen to have enough fuel. he pushes them ahead. he uses them deliberately as a screen to ensure the japanese light forces can be kept at a distance from his battleships. he uses guns to prevent japanese from just force against him. -- concentrating their distributed forces against them. he uses them to keep them off balance. once the japanese searchlights comes on, he becomes certain the target that his fire control crew has been tracking is not
the south dakota and is instead a japanese ship. he allows his control team to open fire with some of the most accurate fire ever seen in combat. the japanese ship is wrecked in a few short minutes. but he is not done. lee continues to act aggressively. we heard about how the dauntlesses spent time destroying transports. one of the reasons they had as much time as they did is because lee, after sinking one of them, heads northwest, he knows japanese transports are coming from that direction. he wants to force them to turn around, and does this with the battleship washington. the transports slow their progress. the aviators have more time. the decisive moments at guadalcanal turn on the key heuristics the u.s. navy developed before the war. there is a lot of learning that goes on in theater between
scott, callahan and their peers that informs the battles. and the next one, the navy by that time, has abandoned the idea of starting with a linear formation that is concentrated. now the destroyers are sent forth. the cruisers are intended to hang back and use gunfire so there can be simultaneous destroyer torpedo and cruiser gunfire attack. that is the way admiral kincaid planned it. admiral wright does not execute it that way. it doesn't work well, but it serves as a model for future battles as the united states navy advances up the slot. in addition to the learning in the theater, there is learning at a higher level in the pacific fleet. there are two key problems that come out of the fighting of
guadalcanal. the first of these is that ship captains and formation commanders can't make sense of the information available. there is information from radars, there is information from lookouts, there is the tbs radio and all of this information coming in. it is difficult to understand, analyze and act on all of it in a timely manner. captains and commanders are overwhelmed. the other problem is prewar approach assumed and relied on the idea these squadrons and divisions would be cohesive. you would train with the other destroyers in your company and develop tactics that suited your capabilities and dispositions and take those into battle under the pressures of the war. these organizations break down. destroyers are thrown into combat in a very ad hoc way. there is no time to develop
cohesion and no time to put an effective doctrine or plan in place. admiral chester nimitz at pearl harbor, commander of the pacific fleet, is aware of these challenges. the notices these issues as they come back in reports from action. in november 1942, when the climactic battles are being fought, he takes action on the fact there is an inability of these officers to make sense of the available information. he issues a directive. every ship will create a combat information center. that combat information center will be the clearinghouse for all of the information that is available from radar, whether they be fire control, search, from radios, sonars, lookouts. that new organization will synthesize all of that information and provide it to the captain or formation
commander in an actionable format so we can take advantage of this. one of the things that is very interesting about this war nimitz issues is he says what we ought to do, hasn't said anything about how. the variability that existed, the individual initiative that existed in the fleet, nimitz triggers it and says, all you subordinate ships, start experimenting with different approaches and i will identify the best, and we will replicate that once it proves successful. when the action report from the destroyer fletcher, the last ship in callahan's line, comes back and nimitz and his staff recognize what lieutenant commander joseph wiley has done to help keep that ship undamaged through the whole battle, they bring him back to pearl harbor to help him work out procedures because what wiley did is he
stood between the bridge and radar room and kept an eye on the sgppi planned indicator indic -- plant position indicator display you see on the left. he had headphones in the various ships' weapons systems. he coached weapons on the targets and he gave the commanding officer of the ship a clear sense of where this was -- the fletcher was relative to other ships in battle. wiley was, in essence, the navy's first destroyer combat information center in his own action himself. he helped develop sophisticated procedures to make this effective throughout the fleet. what happens in 1943 is these procedures begin to work out. they become more routine and effective. as the navy is changing its approach to blend effective destroyer attacks timed to work with cruiser gunfire, the cic begins to influence how that
happens. the japanese are changing at the same time. they have shifted their approach. we have heard a lot about actions sending cruisers and battleships down the slot toward the guadalcanal to bombard american positions. their focus shifts. they send mostly destroyers. maybe there is a light cruiser at the head of the column. these ships don't fire their guns. at least not right away. they fire very powerful torpedoes. type 93, an extreme range powered by oxygen, doesn't burn air and the united states navy doesn't fully understand the capabilities of these tornadoes until well into 1943. once they do, they shift tactics again. they are opening fire from longer ranges. by november 1943, the battles of
cape st. george and empress augusta bay are clear victories. they transformed the approach, they have revolutionized it and the japanese are outpaced. the other challenge, the lack of cohesive formations, this is a bigger issue. the navy needs an ability to interchange's ships and task forces to respond to the needs of the moment. nimitz convenes a board to look at this challenge and understand how to approach this. they were authorized to rewrite the cruising instructions, but they exceed that. there is a number of surface warfare officers part of that group and an aviator, captain apollo suchek. they look at the problem and they decided they are going to extend a playbook that had been developed for the war for major actions, big decisive fleet battles. they extend that to minor actions. what they create is a playbook
that any of the ships in the pacific fleet can use to understand how to cooperate and fight together in a battle that just sort of appears. the ability to deal with ad hoc formations has been addressed. this supports a fundamental change in how the fleet organizes to fight for the coming central pacific offensive. they had a challenge they have never worked out how to deal with. the japanese have dominion over the mandated islands in the central pacific. the marshals, the carolines, the marianas, guam. they have spent years figuring out how to create a defensive network, a web in these islands. we get a taste of what it might have been like to attack them directly at guadalcanal because the japanese are good at
shuttling airplanes around, bringing surface forces to trick the u.s. navy and fight very actively. it would have been much worse than the marianas because they were close to their bases. how can this pacific fleet enter this and fight effectively a centralized fleet based around battle fleets would have had real problems with this and going into the teeth of the japanese plans? the battle fleet reconfigures itself and becomes a network of carrier task forces. instead of moving into a single area and occupying one objective at a time, it can move into an entire island group. seize decisive points, prevent reinforcements, overwhelmed japanese defenses, and leave when the locations had been secured. this is the pattern that is
employed in the gilbert islands 1943 and in the marshals february 1944, so on. the japanese are at a loss because they expect their defensive network will hold the fleet down long enough to force the decisive battle they want to fight. it doesn't. in desperation, they fight the battle of the philippine sea, their carrier air power is diminished and they try again at the battle of whitney gulf where their service fleet is diminished and there is no longer an effective fighting force. the key that i want you to take from this presentation is that the learning system the navy established before the war, which relied on the variability of experimentation is very visible at guadalcanal. it helps us understand better how the fighting turned out,
particularly surface actions, but it feeds learning at multiple levels. commanders in the theater share ideas and rapidly disseminate weapons amongst themselves. -- lessons amongst themselves. at a higher level, the pacific fleet is gathering this information, adapting to the circumstances of the fighting. without the learning mechanisms, the victory in the pacific in world war ii would have been much more challenging and complex and would have come later, further beyond august 1945. there are a number of other things about this that we can weave in, logistics, there are questions about that, and i will finish now and allow you to ask some questions. [applause] >> thank you, trent.
if there is questions, please raise your hand. we will start on the ground floor near the back here. >> thank you. another brilliant, articulate presentation. i don't have a question. i have a comment that in researching a book that i have just completed, i came across the army's, the united states war office publication, fighting on guadalcanal published by united states war office 1943. i will read this opening paragraph. in 1943, the united states war office published a restricted document entitled "fighting on guadalcanal" with the foreword signed by george c. marshall, chief of staff. the purpose of the 69 page booklet was to document the resourcefulness and gallantry of the men in the solomon islands
fanatical japanese fighting force. from major generals to platoon sergeants, the perspective of the contributors was consistent in its urging to revamp official prewar by the book training to reflect the harsh realities of jungle fighting to reduce casualties. trent: i feel like i should comment. one of the things that indicates is a difference in how the united states navy and how the united states army approached some of these things. in the navy, there is a clear and deliberate sense of leaving room for the emergence and adaptation of new approaches and new techniques. it is clear from records of the time that they feel the united states army does not have the same kind of mindset, and i think some of that had to hit home for the united states army
through its fighting, both in the south pacific and north africa, where some of their assumptions about prewar approaches proved to be flawed. doesn't mean the approaches of the united states navy didn't prove to be, but there was a deliberate sense we need to allow room to learn. because we will not get it right the first time. >> on the ground floor to the back, your left. >> there is an old saying that goes something like a nation prepares for the next war by preparing to fight the last war or something. it sounds like you don't think that applies to what the navy did in world war ii. what do you think about that? trent: that is a great question. it gives me the opportunity to talk about jutland. which, i am sure you know, was a massive naval battle fought in the first world war. there has been a good deal of criticism that saying they were trying to refight jutland.
if you get into the records, if you look at what an american naval officers who analyzed jutland soon after it was are thinking and doing, they use it as an example of in certain circumstances what not to do, particularly when it comes to fostering the initiative of subordinate commanders. there is a clear thread at the naval war college by other writers that jutland was not as successful for the royal navy as it could have been because they handcuffed junior commanders with instructions that were too rigid. that was something they sought not to do. we will do the opposite. we will create an environment where people can take the initiative and act on the things they see. the other piece is it often dovetails with the emphasis the united states navy placed on battleships, the movement of the
battle fleet. there is room to be critical there. the thing that is important to recognize is well into the war, the battleship is seen as a decisive instrument. the plans for the gilberts and the marshalls, they all contain an appendix that illustrates what the navy will do if the japanese come out to fight. if they seek a major fleet action, we will have to consolidate, bring battleships together and duke it out. because if they want to, that is what we have to do. >> we will stay on the ground floor in the center here. >> thank you -- doctor? mister? for an excellent presentation. the question that i am led to ask by your presentation is the effect or the interplay between
formation of doctrine and naval intelligence. now, what intelligence were we collecting about the way the japanese intended to fight? and how if at all did the interplay with the creation of interwar doctrine -- because it seems to me if you read a book like -- ok, you are familiar with that. it would have led somebody come if we knew the japanese doctrine to spend a hell of a lot more time worrying about what would happen at night, and was naval intelligence even aware of this? what input did they have to doctrine? it seems like you need to fight the enemy you actually are going to fight, not the one you guessed is going to be out there
or a mirror image of you. trent: there is a lot to unpack here. a few things. it reminds me of a question asked earlier about what intelligence was related to japanese night fighting capability. one of the answers is the u.s. navy assumed the japanese would try to fight at night, not a decisive fleet action, but the u.s. navy would be subject to attacks that night. they expected the japanese to come with cruisers and destroyers. they practiced this. they are trying to get american cruisers and destroyers better at fighting at night, better at attacking in formation. not necessarily better at the fighting we saw at guadalcanal, but better at a central pacific major action. there is a sense that they will do it, we will do it. let's make sure we are better at it. what is missed from the intelligence standpoint and it
is remarkable no one susses this out, the japanese have been restricted by the size of their battle fleet by treaty and the cruiser force. ok, they will have fewer ships. what will that lead them to do? maybe they will make ships that they think are higher-quality somehow. what are those massive torpedo batteries that are on the sides of the cruisers we can see? they knew they were equipped with massive torpedo batteries. there is a failure of imagination to realize that wow, that is a 24 inch torpedo with a massive warhead that can go as far as the battleship gun. that gets lost. you mentioned mirror imaging or you alluded to it, if you didn't say it. there's a lot of that that happens. the japanese will fight more or less how we fight.
we've been together at this for -- thinking about this for 20 years. have at it. more or less. >> to your right, on the ground floor. >> thank you for an excellent presentation. we have all read that in the american air force, after a certain number of missions, pilots were rotated back to the united states, to teach the latest tactics to younger pilots. what happened in this regard to navy captains and commanders? trent: there is a similar -- not always necessarily being rotated back, but there is a deliberate choice to take naval officers, oftentimes aviators, back to begin to impart lessons. this happens with service ships and carrier officers as well. and then also rotating them to different
positions. the person who leads the destroyers to victory at camp st. george, he becomes the chief of staff to the commander of the task force in the 38th. there is a delivered ability to rotate some of this knowledge around, not necessarily back to the states, but also to create a web of networked information within the force that is doing the fighting. >> we will stay to the far right here. >> probably on the same lines. i really appreciate the innovation of new thoughts and processes and policies, particularly in the cic. and eventually, giving everyone the opportunity to develop their own way, but eventually they had to get into standard operating procedure. how is that turned around,
formulated and disseminated? the fleet is disparate around the pacific and atlantic. maybe some of the officers are going back and forth. how is that disseminated to get a cohesion, to getting the groups and squadrons together? trent: excellent question. with regard to the cic, what happens is, more specific and sophisticated procedures are developed in 1943. there are courses that are established at a radar school in pearl harbor. ships, when they come in for a refit or when they're coming out from the coast to join the fleet, a lot of the cic crews -- they started with the idea of training the officers there and they will bring it back to the ships and be a trainer. that is what they tried at first. it is not successful. it doesn't lead to the standardization that you are highlighting that will be
essential in dealing with a series of kamikazes. what they do, is bring the ship in, we will get the cic crew in, and we will train them as a unit. they will go out and be more capable and effective. one of the things that happens over 1943, 1944, 1945, there is more investment in how to standardize these approaches and training. the side effect is that there is now less experimentation. there is less exploration of new opportunities. it wins the war, but it does not position the fleet as well post war to continue this approach. >> we have time for one more question. i promise that the first question from the panel will be from jim to you. [laughter] >> was the concept of the task
force not possible until the advent of the essex class carrier? trent: i assume you mean the large carrier task force. several different pieces here. there are task forces before the war starts, but they are similar to some of the organizational parameters that have already existed. the battle force and scouting force, and other elements of it. you can create a task force. the modern carrier task force we think of with a set of carriers, either too large and a light, or some reconfiguration of that. it doesn't become possible until there are enough carriers to do that. the other thing that mitigates against it is, throughout 1942, there is some question about what the best configuration for carriers is. remember, the prewar concept of carrier warfare, you have to hit the bad
guy first. you have to attack. once you hit his flight deck, we will win. there are two ways to win or to two ways to prevent from being damaged. one is to hit the other guy first, and the others to not be found. there's a lot of emphasis on, even when you carriers together, as at coral sea and midway, making sure that the carriers are significantly distant, so if they strike, it can only get one of them. it doesn't get them both. that mitigates against it. what you have to have is an ability to not have just enough carriers to make it work, but you need to have the sense of how will we have a combat air patrol that is effective and can shoot down incoming strikes? that begins to develop through combat experience over the course of 1943 in preparation for the pacific central offensive. >> thank you, trent. [applause]
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